Notes from the Building Content Summit

Aug 6, 2017


Notes from the Building Content Summit

Toronto, Canada

August 1 & 2

I was honored to be invited as the keynote speaker for the BCS show in Toronto held at the beautiful Westin Harbour Castle Hotel last week. The crowd was a mix of well educated and experienced CAD people from both the mechanical (MCAD) and architectural (AEC) industries. During the two days I was also on an expert panel on BIM / VDC where we had a group of about fifty, many of whom were designers using Revit. We talked about the classic problems the AEC industry has with the use of 3D data but that was ground that has already been very well covered.

As opposed to continuing that discussion I asked the audience to share what would be three things that they would like to communicate to the General Contractor community to improve the use of models.

This is a summary of the top three issues:

  1. Less litigation - the group felt that if there was less litigation than design teams would be more willing to share models freely with their construction partners.
  2. Better planning - this request centered around Level of Development (LOD) and the BIM Execution Plan that Autodesk has been proposing for a few years now. The group felt if there was more communication about what was needed in the models they could do a better job of supplying valuable data to the construction teams.
  3. Stop changing products - when products are specified by engineers and then less expensive products are substituted in place of them by the contractors there can be problems. The problems stem from the fact that the consultant who specified the equipment had done research and analysis to confirm that the original product would function efficiently. The substitute product did not always get that treatment.

Finally, there was a fourth request which was to mitigate the inevitable schedule compression that occurs when everyone is ready to go but the contracts are not signed for another week or two. Then once the contract is signed the pressure is on to make up the lost weeks that occurred while the contracts were in legal review or negotiation. 

I would summarize these requests more simply. Let’s stop arguing, collaborate more as teammates and do our best to stick with the original plan. Seems like it all makes sense and could continue to help our industry pick up efficiency.


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don hDon Henrich is an accomplished technology veteran in both the MCAD and the AEC industries.  As President and CEO of Assemble he brings an distinguished track record of innovation, winning strategies, team building, and the ability to quickly grow revenue and market share.  Don and his wife Noel have three children, reside in Marblehead, MA and spend as much time as possible sailing on Massachusetts Bay.


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